IN THE BIG CITY
The ongoing renovations to The Zone section of the Rosebank Mall, which I am a big fan of, have just given the centre a bit of new life with its first public green space called the Living Wall. The impressive 60m2 vertical wall garden is also, according to the mall, the largest living wall in Africa.
The structure has been built and designed by Organic Space – a South African landscape design firm who have mastered the art and implementation of vertical and roof gardens.
“The Living Wall is a great example of our work and how an urban space was transformed. But this is just the beginning and we have lots of exciting projects in the works for 2016 and beyond,” says Mario Thompson, owner of Organic Space.
Passers-by are treated to an immediate mood-enhancer created by the contrasting greenery the wall provides to the surrounding concrete urban landscape. Thirty species of plants, most of which are indigenous, contribute to the peaceful details, particularly the water feature, which is framed gracefully by a wooden architrave. When gently lit up by its evening lights, this architecturally simple design comes alive.
French botanist and artist Patrick Blanc, speaking to WSJ magazine in an interview recently, said the biggest thing about vertical gardens was “the positive psychological effect they can have on those who look at them. Instead of there being nothing or maybe a scrawl of graffiti, a simple wall can become something poetic.”
You can see the wall at The Zone @ Rosebank near the new News Cafe and the banks, towards The Firs section of the development. – Avantika Seeth